Levi Leipheimer Interview
Levi recounts his Tour, the Olympics and looks ahead to 2005.
fruit for breakfast and I don?t have any problems at all.
RC: After your injury in the Tour last year, do you feel like you?re back to 100%?
LL: Yes, my injury in the Tour last year wasn?t anything serious, just enough to stop me from continuing in the Tour. A fractured pelvis.
RC: How was your Olympic experience?
LL: I really had a great time at the Olympics. It was an experience I will always remember. Being in the athlete?s village was extraordinary.
RC: What did you think of the race and the team?
LL: The Olympics is not the pinnacle of the sport so the race wasn?t like the Tour but it was special, that?s for sure. Our team worked very well together, we supported each other well and aimed for the best result possible for the team.
RC: There?s been a lot going on in the world of racing this year. What do you think about all of the changes and the new ProTour?
LL: I think the ProTour can be a very good change. Our schedule as it is now is too long with too many races and that devalues the sport. Hopefully the ProTour will bring fresh air into cycling.
RC: Are there any particular races beside the Tour de France that you consider a major objective for next year?
LL: The Tour is the main objective for me. It is the race where I can use my strengths and abilities. I?m not a rider for the classics or for the early season. Depending on how the Tour goes, it will affect my other goals such as the Vuelta or shorter stage races.
RC: If we see the UCI ProTour and the Organizations of the Grand Tours come together, will there be a chance of you doubling-up on Grand Tours?
LL: It really depends on how the Tour goes for me.
RC: What are your thoughts on the 2005 Tour de France route? It should prove to be a very competitive course with the decreased individual time trial miles and fewer mountain top finishes.
LL: The longer TT on the first day will affect the race, putting more pressure on the favorites for the overall from the beginning of the race. The main thing is that the riders make the race, not the route. It will be as difficult as ever and the best rider will win.
RC: Looking at the 2005 route, many are speculating that the race will come down to the strongest teams with a big focus on the team time trial. Last year, Gerolsteiner lost a considerable amount of time in the TTT. Where do you see the team looking for help in improving their performance?
LL: I was shocked to see Gerolsteiner lose as much as they did in 2004. I think they had problems because they are normally